Justice secretary condemns protests as ‘racist thuggery’

Humza Yousaf said protests in George Square 'had nothing to do with statues'.

Scotland’s justice secretary has condemned protests taking place in Glasgow’s George Square as ‘racist thuggery’.

Humza Yousaf tweeted on Wednesday evening that he had been briefed by Police Scotland about the situation.

Images on social media showed hundreds of people in the city’s George Square as well as a large police presence with clashes breaking out.

Mr Yousaf tweeted: “Briefed by Police Scotland on disorder in George Sq. Let’s not mince our words, this has nothing to do with statues and everything to do with racist thuggery.

“Police have made a number of arrests already and will continue to take all necessary action against those responsible.”

The First Minister also condemned the clashes in a tweet on Wednesday evening, adding that ‘racist thugs’ should face the full force of the law.

She said: “Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow tonight. Racist thugs shame Scotland. If they break the law, they should face the full force of it.

“And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are.”

The incident occurred after far-right groups arrived in George Square on Wednesday evening while a protest against living conditions of refugees in Glasgow took place.

No Evictions Glasgow said they were made aware the groups would arrive around an hour before the planned event at 6pm.

The group had to cut the demonstration short after it was deemed “unsafe”.

Organisers said: “It’s been decided the location of the demo at this time is not safe so we are going to leave the area as a group.

“If you haven’t made it in don’t try get in and stay away from the square.

“Try + make sure you are not alone if you are at the demo or in the vicinity.”

Police Scotland Chief Superintendent Mark Hargreaves said: “We had an appropriate police presence in place to ensure public safety during the demonstrations in the George Square area on the evening of Wednesday, 17 June.

“So far, six men have been arrested for minor public order offences and reports will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal. The majority of protesters have now left George Square and officers remain in the area for public reassurance

“A review will be undertaken and should any further criminality be identified appropriate action will be taken.”

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